The Belgian road safety institute Vias has recommended to change the maximum blood-alcohol level for motorcyclists to 0.2 promille, where the limit for car drivers is 0.5 promille. FEMA member MAG Belgium does not agree: “Zero tolerance is for everyone”.
Vias comes with a new recommendation after the latest Belgian accident figures. These show that the number of accidents with drunk motorcycles has risen slightly. That is not surprising, says Stef Willems from Vias: “For motorcyclists, a tiny bit of alcohol can already lead to coordination loss and balance disorders, and therefore to accidents. In 6.6 percent of motorcyclist injuries, the motorcyclist was under the influence of alcohol”. Vias argues for zero tolerance: “At European level, that is already a directive. In practice, it comes down to 0.2 promille.”
Theo Beeldens, president of the Belgian Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) does not entirely agree with Vias and reacted on national television station VRT. “I don’t see any reason why motorcyclists should be targeted. Zero tolerance is for everyone. Drunk driving is no more dangerous for a motorcyclist than for a car driver.”
You can watch the VRT video here.
Top photograph: Wim Taal